Monday, February 20, 2006
Oops, since its President’s day and I had the day off, I almost
forgot that it was time to do a blog entry. We had planned on
going to Randolph for our 7th two-hour trip since my dad died, to
do more cleaning, searching for tax papers, hauling stuff home,
etc. But since the weather report was for 15º below zero, and
snow, we decided at the last minute to stay home. That left a
whole 3 day weekend with nothing planed. This was a complete and
utterly strange experience for me. Since the middle of August when
son #4 had his tumor, I think every minute of every day of every
week has been scheduled. To compound that, when my dad died,
things just got worse. So, an empty three day weekend was
But, this unscheduled weekend came with some guilt. A week or so
ago our Gospel Doctrine teacher called me up. “Hey Marty, I’m
going to be gone on President’s day weekend. Can you substitute
for me on Sunday?” There are two callings in the LDS church that
scare me more than anything else in the world; Gospel Doctrine
teacher is one of them. Gospel Doctrine is an hour long Sunday
school class where you learn different aspects of the Gospel. This
year we are studying the Old Testament, next year is the New
Testament. It goes on a 4 year rotation. Gospel Doctrine is where
all of the adults in the ward go for Sunday school. These are the
folks who stick around after sacrament meeting. Not the ones who
head home for football or a nice Sunday nap. These are the folks
who want to learn. So, they ask the instructor all sorts of
questions, and if you happen to be teaching, you’d better be
prepared with some good answers or you’re in trouble. I
substituted for this class several years ago and I can remember it
like it was yesterday. It wasn’t pleasant. I don’t mind teaching
12 and 13 year old boys (more my level anyway) but big people
scare me. Anyway, I told the instructor that I was going to be in
Randolph cleaning out my dad’s house for the entire weekend. So,
when we showed up to our church on Sunday anyway, I had pangs of
guilt. My sweet wife said he’ll never know, because he was gone
anyway. So, Shhh... no one tell ok?
Anyway, on Saturday because I had all of this time off, I had to
have a project to keep me busy. I decided that laundry was my
goal. I started at 7:15, and by the time Saturday night came
along, I had done 9 loads. It’s amazing we have that many clothes!
There were clothes under the kids’ beds, hiding here, hiding
there. It was mind boggling. I know my sweet wife appreciated it,
because she had 3 hours of play practice with son #2 on Saturday,
and couldn’t help much.
But, I’m not sure she showed her appreciation very well. When I
went to bed, she rolled over to cuddle, and elbowed me in the face
just under my eye. “OUCH!” I yelled. She apologized, and we fell
asleep. I had forgotten about the whole thing until the next
morning when I looked in the mirror. I now have a huge black eye.
When I showed her, I laughed, and she felt terrible.
Maybe that will get me out of laundry duty next weekend ‘eh?
For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!
I put a Vonage logo on the blog page. Reader Sandra B. signed up
this weekend and got a free month, and gave me one too! Thanks!
Reader Comment Section:
Lots and Lots of Comments today.
The Abbott and Costello bit was better than the original. I have
tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.
I've been reading your daily entries on your blog starting in
August & I've both laughed & cried. Thank you for sharing your
story. I liked the story your mom posted about Jim ‘duhing’ the
RN about the little doctor comment: ) You have a truly amazing
family. If you were here or I was there I would give you a great
[About Donna P’s comments last Thursday]
If [Marty] wasn't as honest as he is, THEN it would be cruel. What
he did, was send a reminder to watch out for that type of stuff.
Her manager didn't get involved, so she's not in any trouble, but
yet she is smarter for having met Marty, as am I. And this is from
someone who worked in fast food for 5 years. Frankly though, if
you can't give change correctly, you shouldn't be working the
If you work with money You should be able to count. What is so
difficult about that? If I have to pay R12 and I give an R20 + R2
that just mean I want R10. It also mean I don't want to walk
around with a bag full of coins!
I do NOT agree with Donna's statement! People today have come to
rely on calculators to do their math for them. Come on folks!
How hard is it to add and subtract whole numbers in your head!!!
I'm replying to your story about the cashier in the concession
stand. I work for a supermarket in my area (not as a cashier), but
I find myself simply amazed by the lack of basic math knowledge
when I'm checking out. Last week, my total at the checkout was
$20.51. I handed the cashier $21.01. He looked at me as if I was
mentally challenged and proceeded to ask me if I had another $.50.
He stood there while the line behind me backed up and I searched
through my purse and pockets for 2 more quarters. I tried
explaining to him that he was the one that owed me $.50, but he
wouldn't budge. I finally handed him another dollar bill, he
punched $22.01 on the cash tendered button and proceeded to hand
me back my $1.50 in change. Thank goodness the registers
automatically figure out the correct change when the cash is
tendered! Thank you for a funny and entertaining newsletter. May
God keep you and your family well.
I really want to disagree with Donna P. This is whats wrong with
education today, the kids today can't seem to do simple math! What
with pictures on the registers instead of numbers and machines
telling them how much change to make on a transaction, they
haven't learned to make the simple transactions theirselves. So
how are these poor kids going to know when they are shorted on
thier pay checks or if billing errors are being made on their
charges? And people wonder about these kids who will be replacing
older professionals in the job market?...
You mentioned the story about "son #4's" day at the pool and when
you asked what did you today...then you commented and said it
must be a male thing...well, guess what it's a girl thing
too...every time my husband and I ask or if anyone asks my niece
(who is now 10) what did you do today, she says the same
thing...maybe it's their generation...BTW: I'm 46....just thought
I'd add my two cents... BTW: Love you letters...and oh yea, where
is Justin? Take care
I just read the email about the person who complained that you
were cruel to have given that cashier at the movies a hard time. I
must agree that if a cashier is feeling that a scam is going that
they have the right to not make a sale or better yet, call the
manager over to deal with it. On the other hand modern cash
registers, even old ones, have a feature on them called 'Cash
Tendered'. Even if a cashier is too overworked or otherwise
confused, all they have to due after entering the sale is to also
enter the amount that they are given. The 'Cash Tendered' feature
will provide the correct change amount and it is all printed on
the reciept/journal of the register. No math skills required. Just
count the money.
Marty - I think anyone that works with cash should be able to make
change- people these days are too used to working with calculators
and cash registers that figure out the change. People are not
taught to think with their own brains- we are living in a society
when too much is done for us. I always believed that we should be
able to use the brains that God gave us to figure out something so
simple as making change. If a person is not able to do it on their
own, then they should not be working in that type of job. It must
be very stressful on them, as well as the customer. I do not think
you did anything wrong. When we make a purchase, we should, at the
very least, be sure of getting back the correct change.
I don't think what you did is cruel, but as someone who worked fast
food many years ago, I know it can be tough to do math on
demand when you've got people staring at you. I was good at math,
but I'd get flustered when people would try to throw me off, just
because they were sitting there staring at me. And cash registers
make it too easy for you to not have to do the math yourself
anymore. You punch in the amount the person gave you, and it
tells you the change you should give, then if the person tried to
give me more money after that, it would screw everything up. But I
agree, if you're going to work in the business, learn how to count
change back. And for customers, once they've figured out how much
to change to give you, don't try and give them more money - it's a
I would like to comment about what Donna had to say. Come on
people, cruel? Marty? Don't they have buttons on the cash
register that allow you to enter the amount you got as payment &
then it tells you the amount of change to give back? It is not
Rocket Science. It just takes a little thought. No one said the
girl was dumb.
~Jennifer K (AZ)